Thursday, March 24, 2016

Researching NATO Phonetic Alphabet Before Creating Our Own Minnesota Alphabet!

Over the past several weeks, Oak Hills 3rd Graders have been learning more about the variety of ways that people can communicate the English alphabet. We learned about the reasons that humans have created alternative ways to communicate. Our research was inspired by a beautifully illustrated book by Isabelle Arsenault entitled Alpha. Unlike the typical garden variety alphabet book, Alpha identifies each letter & word of the NATO phonetic alphabet used by various emergency services around the world. Students practiced spelling words using the NATO alphabet.

We also discussed other ways of communication and the reasons they were created. 


Morse Code

American Sign Language

Students had a blast trying out each one! 

After reading and practicing each alphabet, we decided to have a little fun and create one of our own! Our alphabet had a little less utility than the other examples, but students had fun brainstorming what kind of alphabet we wanted to create. Students identified words that Minnesotans could use to communicate. A Minnesota Alphabet! Each student picked a letter and a word that had Minnesota meaning, often the things that Minnesota is known for.  (Cold weather, hockey, cities, sports teams and so forth)  Students used PicCollage to demonstrate their Minnesota letter.  We put together our posters to create our own Minnesota Alphabet book!